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Microsoft Research “Digital Past to Digital Presence” – Finds future value in family history

The “Digital Past to Digital Presence” a collection of concepts from the Socio-Digital Systems group at Microsoft Research Cambridge was demonstrated at TechFest 2009.

David Kirk explains: “Both bits of the booth are connecting with something’s that’s absent, somebody you can’t be with, bringing things closer to together,” he says. “With Digital Past, it’s bringing you closer to your past, in two different ways. With Digital Presence, it’s connecting with people you can’t physically be with. In both cases, they’re connecting with bits of your life that are distant in some way and bringing them together.”

The demo features four discrete attempts to bridge these physical and temporal gaps:

  • Family Archive: a table-like device with a screen built into the table top and a standard USB connection for peripherals, used for media management in the home.[…]
  • Time Card: “We’re basically looking at ways of creating timelines,” says Richard Banks, “to either represent your own life or lives of others”. […]
  • CellFrame: a small, standalone, wireless display and communication device to bring the benefits of social networking to those not actively participating in it.
  • Wayve: another device, resembling a digital picture frame but incorporating technology that lets people connect playfully and creatively.

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